Find a Cause Worth Running For. (Or Biking. Or Walking. Whatever Works.)

Let your favorite charity cash in on your fitness routine. #100StartsWith1

We’re teaming up with our friends at Sambazon for 100 days of little ways to change our world. Follow along for the next 100 days of action (and giveaways) on Instagram @Sambazon and at And don’t forget to tell us @GOOD about how you’re changing your world with the hashtag #100Startswith1.


Champion: Gene Gurkoff

Action: Choose a charity and let it cash in on your exercise routine.

Gene Gurkoff, founder of Charity Miles, last month with Hank Kirschner, 79, who recently walked two challenging races using an all-terrain walker in memory of his wife. Image via Charity Miles.

“I was never a tech person, I was a finance law person,” says Gene Gurkoff. “But I was always a runner, too.” When he was in law school, Gurkoff spent a lot of time running for charity, raising money for Parkinson’s Disease in honor of his grandfather. His family and friends would sponsor him, but Gurkoff wanted to make a bigger difference by garning support from companies.

“But they would never do it because I’m not a celebrity. So I figured if I got enough people together, then collectively, we would have the clout of a celebrity.”

After some trial and error, Gene followed through on his idea by developing an app called Charity Miles. It's free for iPhone and Android and lets you earn corporate sponsorships for charity while walking, running, or biking. Running and biking will earn your charity 25 cents per mile; biking gets them a dime.

Two Charity Miles running across the United States just met up in New Mexico this week. One of them is doing the whole run barefoot.

Many Charity Miles members are passionate about making a difference through fitness. Gurkoff says two members have already run across the United States. Two more are doing it right now. One, Jack Fussell, is running east to west for Alzheimers. The other, Barefoot Jake Brown, is running west to east. Hank Kirshner, a 79-year-old with a walker, recently did the Disney World Half Marathon on a Saturday and the Disney World Full Marathon on a Sunday, back to back, in honor of his wife. Another member wrote Gurkoff about her young son, who chooses a different charity every day. Once he decided to use Charity Miles on a three-mile hike—the farthest he’d ever walked—but when they got back to the car, they hadn’t quite reached his goal. So he ran around the car a few times to meet it.

@tulamonstah's daily Charity Miles tweet.

The app isn’t only for fitness maniacs, though. Two of Gurkoff’s favorite members are twin sisters from Massachusetts, who use Charity Miles while walking their dogs, who have their own Twitter handles, @tulamonstah and @norwoodsworld. Every morning, the “dogs” tweet their progress, along with the Boston weather report.

“Every mile or half mile matters,” says Gurkoff. “Anyone can do this.”


Gurkoff wants to challenge you to do a very simple thing: “Walk with a purpose.” In other words, find a cause you care about and get moving to support it in whatever way makes sense for you.

1. Select the cause that’s right for you. Gurkoff frequently supports the Michael J. Fox Foundation in honor of his grandfather, though when he’s on a particularly beautiful hike, he likes to support environmental causes like The Nature Conservancy. If you know every step you take will make a difference for a cause you care about, it’ll motivate you to get off your butt.

2. Find the right way to fund it. That could mean participating in charity races near you, downloading Charity Miles, starting a crowdfunding campaign, or even pooling your own races. If the method helps you cross your own personal finish line, that’s what matters.

3. Tell the world. “Nobody walks for charity in secret,” says Gurkoff. “It’s something you do to make a statement and raise awareness.” So when you’re proud of meeting your goals and helping a cause you care about, be sure to use the hashtag #100StartsWith1.

@acrosstheland has run more than 1,000 miles on behalf of the Alzheimers Association as part of his journey across the United States. Here he is making it to Arkansas. Image via Charity Miles.

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

Keep Reading Show less

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less